3 Mistakes Buyers Make

November 6, 2018 | By Cindy Wadsworth

3 Mistakes Buyers Make When Purchasing a Home


Written by Pete Becchina

In this post we are going to discuss 3 mistakes buyers make when purchasing a home.  It really doesn’t matter if you are a first time home buyer, or you are on your 5th house, anyone can fall into these traps.  We see it time and time again. It always comes back to one reason…

“I just want to see a house!”

We get it.  It’s exciting!  You made the decision to move.  You’ve secretly stalked Zillow for a few weeks (or longer), checking out all the homes in the area or areas you are considering.  Now you are finally ready to pick a real estate agent to work with and start seeing homes.

Perhaps you go back to Zillow and look for Realtors who have sold homes and have a good amount of positive reviews.  Maybe you get a referral from a friend or family member who has had success with an agent. Or, maybe you have a friend or family member who just got their license and can help you.  After all, doesn’t everyone know someone who is a Realtor? Or, you see a house you love and call the listing agent.
All these paths lead to one place...you calling an agent and asking if you can see the house in question.  
Now, if you choose a good agent, he or she will ask you to come in for a buyer consultation.  Of course you will respond with “But I just want to see a house!”

Mistake #1: Not Having A Proper Buyer’s Consultation

The bad news is many agents will not ask you to meet for a buyer consultation.  Perhaps they are desperate for a sale, and don’t want to risk alienating you by asking to meet first.  After all, they know you just want to see the house! More than likely though, it will come down to most agents not knowing how to conduct a proper buyer consultation.  
We prefer to have a buyer consult with our clients for several reasons.  First and foremost, we are able to complete a needs analysis for you, so we can figure out exactly what you are looking for in your new home.  This way, we can show you all the homes that fit your criteria, not just the one you called in on first.

Next, we will walk you through the home buying process as it relates to the current market.  Now, if you are a first time home buyer, this may be completely new to you. If you have bought in the past, it’s not just a good refresher. Remember, the key phrase here is how “As it relates to the current market.” Every market is different, and while the national real estate market may take awhile to change tides, your local market can change very quickly.  You and more importantly, your agent needs to understand this and be able to help navigate you through it. After all, the strategies we use to get you a steal of a deal in a buyer’s market are very different than the strategies we use to make sure you don’t overpay in a strong seller’s market.

Great, so now you have gone through the buyer consultation and your agent suggests that the next step is to get pre-approved for a loan, but...

“I just want to see the house already!”

Mistake #2:  Not Getting Pre-Approved Before Seeing Properties

A good agent is going to suggest you get pre-approved before going out to see properties.  There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, many sellers and listing agents require a buyer be pre-approved before being able to view the property. However, there are a few reasons why this is actually beneficial for you as a buyer as well. First, you will have a true price range to search for, and you will not be looking for homes outside your budget.  This is most important to avoid looking at homes that are outside of your comfort zone, only to be let down afterwards. Secondly, when we find you your dream home we want to take every effort in making sure you get the house, and not another competing buyer. Time is of the essence and you don’t want to waste time getting a pre-approval when it could cost you your new home.

Since we are on the topic of pre-approvals, let’s talk about lenders for a second.  I know it can be tempting to use one of those internet based lenders, because of the ease.  However, working with a good LOCAL lender can work in your favor. Most of the time, the local lenders will have just as easy of a pre-approval process.  Some will be able to have you pre-approved in minutes. The other benefit to working with a local lender is your agent will have a direct line to make sure everything is going smooth.  The listing agent will almost always feel more comfortable accepting an offer with a local lender attached to it as well. I know we do.

Okay, so you’ve been really patient and have taken our advice.  You met for a buyer consult, and you got pre-approved by a reputable local lender.  Now we can finally go see houses!

And here is where the other big mistake usually takes place…

Mistake #3:  Going On A Shopping Spree Instead Of Using A Process OF Elimination

It’s finally time to start looking at properties.  Many agents, because they haven’t taken the time to have a buyer consultation, will send you everything in your price range.  This is a huge mistake and could cost you losing out on your dream home.

Let me explain.

Buying a house should be a process of elimination, not going on a shopping spree.  If your agent just sends you everything on the market in your price range, you may get overwhelmed.  You might not know where to start and instead of having a plan and working from a small list, you just pick a random starting point.  If there is no rhyme or reason, your dream home might end up being 15th on your list, and by the time you get to it, someone might have already purchased it.  You wasted all that time looking at 14 homes that weren’t a fit and could have been crossed off the list, either by you or your agent.

Don’t forget, this is a two way street, meaning it’s up to your agent to have a good understanding of what you are looking for so they can narrow down options for you.  However, you have to resist the urge of seeing “anything and everything” as well. If you narrow your choices to just the ones that make the most sense for you, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration looking at houses that aren’t a good fit.

If you are thinking about buying a home, make sure you avoid making these mistakes.  Better yet, just hire us as your preferred real estate agent, and we will take care of everything for you.

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